Skip to main content

Davenport and the Flood of 1965

Identifier: 2015-07

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of thirty color slides produced by Blackhawk Films depicting the April 1965 flood of the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa.


  • 1965

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials are available for use in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center only.

Request permission before copying materials.

Personal digital cameras and scanners are allowed in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center on a case-by-case basis. The items that a researcher may want to scan or photograph must be examined and evaluated for physical condition, copyright issues, and donor restrictions by staff.

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Biographical / Historical

Heavy rain fell across much of the northern Mississippi River region in early to mid April. With the ground still being frozen, the rain and melted snow had nowhere to go except for nearby rivers. Many record crests that were set in 1965 still stand to this day.

On Wednesday, April 14, 1965, the Times-Democrat newspaper (Davenport, Iowa) reported the coming of a flood and approximately 2,000 homes in the Quad City area were evacuated. That same day, 28 train cars loaded with sand from Muscatine arrived in Davenport to help with the flooding at the foot of Harrison Street. The next day the river exceeded 15 feet in Davenport and went above flood stage at noon. In Minnesota, the state braced for crests to reach 27 feet.

Area newspapers began providing round the clock coverage of the flooding to keep people informed of the rising waters. While newspapers were providing coverage, local police went on 12 hour shifts to deal with the flooding issues.

A week later, on April 22nd, the flood crest in Davenport reached 21.5 feet. By April 25th, flooding had driven about 14,000 people from their homes, killed fourteen people, and caused about 125 million dollars of damage. On Wednesday April 28th, the levees in both Quincy, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa gave way after being pounded by flood waters.

(Source: accessed 07March2016)


30 Photographic Slides (in 1 folder.)

Language of Materials



Chronologically as labeled by producers.

Physical Location

Range 44 Section 2 Slide Box 1 Folder 1

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Physical Description


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center Repository

321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490 United States

About the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center:

The Special Collections Department of the Davenport Public Library was established in 1982. In November of 1999, the newly renovated department opened to better serve its community and was renamed the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. The Center acquires, arranges, describes, preserves, and makes available local history and genealogical materials concentrating on those pertaining to Davenport, Scott County, and Eastern Iowa.

Books and other printed materials in the collection can be found using a Library Search. For additional digital resources, browse the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive. For more information about specific subjects relating to Scott County History, please browse the Research Guides.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center
Davenport Public Library
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490
(563) 326-7902